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#67644 October 12th, 2006 at 06:47 AM
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I have 2 arbicola trees. Both are planted in ceramic pots with rocks in the bottome to allow for better water drainage. One is doing great, while the other is yellowing and dropping leaves. (It is closer to a window). I have plant lights on both trees for approx 12 hrs a day. I water them about every 5 days. I have also noticed little flies (almost like fruit flies) around the trees. Any suggestions?

#67645 October 12th, 2006 at 10:21 AM
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It sounds like you might have fungus gnats which are usually caused by soil that is kept too moist. Overwatering might also be the cause of yellowing and dropping leaves. The lifecycle of gnats is only a few days so if you allow the soil to dry out more between waterings, they should quickly disappear.

Using pebbles at the bottom of pots actually impairs drainage. If the pots don't already have drainage holes, repot the plants into ones that do, the smallest size that will accommodate the root balls.

Watering according to a schedule can cause overwatering, too. Water requirements are change with variables such as amount of light, heat, and humidity. Shorter days of winter means your plants will need less water. A simple, yet accurate, method of determining if your Schefflera arboricolas need watering is to poke your finger into the soil. When the soil is dry about 1/4 deep, it is time to water.

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#67646 October 13th, 2006 at 06:51 AM
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Thanks Star
My ceramic pots do have drainge holes in the bottom. I recently lost 2 similiar house plants secondary to inadequate drainge. The holes got clogged with soil and the water couldn't drain. I thought by adding the rocks to the bottom it might prevent this from happening again. I appreciate your advice. I don't have much of a green thumb but I'm trying.
km

#67647 October 13th, 2006 at 11:57 AM
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km,

The pebbles/drainage issue was recently addressed here

It sounds like you are on the right track! thumbup

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